Navigation Links
Major differences revealed in how local authorities in the UK support disabled people

Diverse local authority policies and practices throughout the UK are making big differences to the uptake and operation of direct payments a system for supporting people who are receiving community care by enabling them to purchase their own care. New research from the Economic and Social Research Council reveals that direct payments are being operated, and experienced, very differently in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Direct payments are funds paid by local authorities directly to disabled people, and other community care service users, to buy-in their own support, usually this takes the form of employing personal care assistants.

The payments, first introduced in 1997, have been controversial. Some have seen them as a covert means of privatising the delivery of public sector services, whilst for others they represent an important means of empowering those at the margins, of society by involving them as co-producers of their services.

The research team, led by Professor Sheila Riddell of Edinburgh University, found:

  • The uptake of direct payments varied greatly between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 2003-04, they found a total of 18 authorities making no use whatsoever of direct payments - of these, 11 were in Scotland, five in Wales and two in Northern Ireland. In England, all local authorities used direct payments. In some parts of Scotland, on the other hand, union resistance, and the identification of direct payments with creeping privatisation, has had a negative effect on their uptake. Throughout the UK, in areas with low take-up of direct payments, there was evidence of professional, managerial and local political resistance.

  • Local factors play a key role. The local culture of welfare, and the relationship between support organisations and local authorities, are important in either promoting, or inhibiting, the uptake of direct payments. Local authorities in England were far more likely to have designated direct payment officers, compared to those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • Support organisations for direct payment users are changing. In England only one quarter of such organisations were seen to be user-led. There was a higher proportion of user-led support organisations in Scotland but many of these saw themselves as having a strong campaigning role and this tended to bring them into conflict with local authorities

  • The researchers found that questions continue to be raised as to whether direct payments are appropriate for all disabled people and community care groups, or whether some individuals, for example, older people living in socially disadvantaged circumstances, may find them too difficult to manage.

  • Similarly concerns were raised with the researchers about the supply, pay and conditions of work of the personal care assistants, who are now, to all intents and purposes, employed by those receiving direct payments.

Commenting on the research Professor Sheila Riddell said:

We need to understand how the modernisation of welfare agenda is playing out in different parts of the UK, so that disabled people and others are confident about having their rights respected irrespective of their country or locality. This research helps to inform the ongoing debate about the best way to empower service users

A spokesperson for the Department of Health, which oversees the scheme in England, said: Direct payments give individuals real choice and control over the services they use. We are committed to extending direct payments to enable greater numbers of people to benefit and we launched a national toolkit in May 2007 to support English local authorities to achieve this.'

A spokesperson for the Scottish government said: The Scottish government has already addressed many of the issues raised in this report. New national guidance published July 2007 is designed to radically increase uptake of self-directed support (direct payments) in Scotland. Individual budgets are already a reality in some council areas. The guidance sets out good practice for equalising access across Scotland so that more people who wish to can benefit from the flexibility, control and independence self-directed support can bring.


Contact: Danielle Moore
Economic & Social Research Council

Related medicine news :

1. Pharma majors gear to supply anti-anthrax drug
2. First Artificial Heart patient has Major setback
3. Allergies: A major health problem
4. Animal insulin product to be discontinued by drug major Eli Lilly
5. Vision Loss Due To Diabetic Retinopathy a Major Cause Of Concern
6. Depression Found To Be A Major Cause for Death in Elderly
7. Genetics Has A Major Role To Play In Body Shape.
8. “Yes, I need Cosmetic surgery” – view of majority wome
9. Pigs Population A Major Threat To Encephalitis Ravaged UP
10. Unsafe Injections and Unclean Hand hygiene major cause of hospital infections in India
11. Delhi Government To Interlink All Major Hospitals Through e-Governance
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... driving fatalities on our nation’s roadways has dropped below 10,000 for the first time ... to 10,076 in 2013. , According to data released by the National Highway Traffic ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... An ... is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a more dignified ... a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping mats for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... offering lower prices in an early celebration of the early holiday shopping season. ... of $29.95 each (normally $33.95 ea). Black Friday promotional pricing is in addition ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Young patients with a ... Dr. Angela Wolfman and Dr. Kedar S. Lele, who are pediatric dentists in ... and fillings, the WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system causes minimal discomfort and bleeding to the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... DMG Productions announced that they will feature Aphria, Inc., ... via Discovery Channel. Dates and show times TBA. , Aphria, Inc., is a publicly ... of producing and supplying medical marijuana pursuant to the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  DILON Diagnostics and GE Healthcare are pleased ... DILON to distribute GE,s Discovery NM750b Molecular Breast Imaging ... this distribution agreement will provide Dilon,s experienced distribution network ... and is considered an initial step in an ongoing ... clinicians and their patients. --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 24, 2015 Sectra (STO: ... has entered into a multi-year agreement to deploy ... investment will provide the Breast Center a future-proof platform ... (STO: SECT B) announces that Breast Center of ... deploy Breast Imaging PACS in its two freestanding imaging ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRAMINGHAM, Mass. , Nov. 24, 2015   ... leading innovator of less-invasive, miniaturized circulatory support technologies that ... announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Doug ... Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference on December ... being held December 1-2 in New York ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: